Birds of the Burnt Lands

Despite the heat, on Saturday July 27, lead by Derek Dunnett, we headed on to the alvar at Burnt Lands Provincial Park, with the specific goal of finding sparrows. We were not disappointed. We found 6 species of sparrow:  11 Grasshopper, 3 Clay-coloured, 12 Field, 1 White-throated, 4 Savannah and 7 Song.  The Grasshopper Sparrows were life birds for many and they were easily seen in good light and photographed.

We found some standing water on a roadway with many mole salamanders (probably Blue-spotted), bright green emerging Gray Tree Frogs, dragonfly larvae and various polliwogs.  (Interesting fact:  the tails of the Gray Tree Frog tadpoles here have an orange colouration.  This only occurs in the presence of dragonfly larvae predators and we did see some of these in the water with the tadpoles.) Along the way we found Fritillary and Sulphur Butterflies, Halloween Pennant Dragonflies, an Assassin Bug and lots of other interesting animals and plants.

Many thanks to Derek for his enthusiastic and knowledgeable leadership and to Derek and Eric Pohanka for providing pictures.

Grasshopper Sparrow

Developing Gray Tree Frog

Developing Gray Tree Frog

Larval form of (likely) a Blue-spotted Salamander

Orbweaver Spider

Assassin Bug

View of the Alvar